Michael Clarke described Australia’s come-from-behind first Test win against the West Indies in Barbados as one of his best ever. The tourists reached their target of 192 with three wickets remaining as darkness engulfed Kensington Oval on a dramatic final day. The West Indies were seemingly in control of the Test in the first innings, posting 449 and restricting Australia to 285 for eight at one stage before man of the match Ryan Harris fought back with an unbeaten 68. Harris forged partnerships with tail-enders Ben Hilfenhaus and Nathan Lyon to rescue Australia’s innings before Clarke boldly declared at 406 for nine.
The decision proved decisive as Australia dismissed the West Indies for 148 and ended the Test at 5.42 pm local time before inevitable bad light had a chance to intervene. “This is as good as I’ve had, no doubt, because we had our backs to the wall for the first three days of the game,” Clarke said. “The spirit and the character of the guys in the change room is what drives you, I guess, as a captain to make a bold decision, to declare when I declared.
“The confidence around me from everybody in that group, there wasn’t one bit of fear of losing that Test match — it wasn’t spoken about. “From day one of the Test, all that’s been spoken about is what we have to do to win this Test match.” West Indies captain Darren Sammy was ruing a number of missed opportunities, with the home side dropping Shane Watson (52) and Ed Cowan (32) early on in the second innings. “We had our opportunities but did not capitalise. I thought we dominated the first three days but allowed them back in,” Sammy said. “We are improving all the time, we have played against some tough opposition and only the end results need to be shown. “We just had one bad session and that cost us. There are some positives from this match and we will look forward to the second Test.